Flight from London to Tel Aviv diverts after laser hits cockpit, blinding pilot

A Virgin Atlantic flight that departed from London to Tel Aviv yesterday night turned back some 20 minutes after takeoff after a laser beam hit the cockpit and temporarily blinded the pilot.

The flight landed safely and passengers were housed in local hotels before boarding a later flight.

File: A Virgin Atlantic Airways plane taxis Friday, April 13, 2018, at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Virgin says the flight “returned to Heathrow after take-off due to a laser beam incident upon departure.”

“The safety and security of our people and our customers is paramount and this was a precautionary step taken by the operating crew.”